Here’s a Modest Proposal for Handling Biden’s Nominees

You may have missed it in the tumult of the news cycle, but just last week, we were treated to a masterclass in statesmanship by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who announced a new rule: Hereafter, she will oppose all of Joe Biden’s nominees who are not LGBTQ or minorities.

“I will vote for racial minorities and I will vote for LGBTQ, but anybody else I’m not voting for,” the Democratic Demosthenes told an eager audience of reporters. She was soon joined in her effort by the Solon of the Senate, Maize Hirono (D-Hawaii), whose intelligence, wisdom, and integrity are often remarked upon by Capitol observers.

I believe that enacting a GOP version of the new Duckworth-Hirono rule, which drew praise from many in the media and was obviously effective in getting both attention and political concessions from Biden, will make Republicans more popular with the press, which is always interested in equal treatment of both parties.

After all, within hours of Duckworth’s announcement, Biden—shamed at having his obvious racism against Asian Americans exposed—announced he would appoint a senior Asian American White House liaison to make sure that this group would no longer suffer from only moderate over-representation in Biden’s cabinet-level appointments. As a result, Duckworth and Hirono agreed to suspend their rule—for now. Mission accomplished!

Since the Duckworth-Hirono rule has obviously proved so effective, the GOP version of Duckworth-Hirono rule should be a perfect parallel to the original. And since Republicans always seem eager to copy Democratic initiatives, this one should be a natural fit. In fact, by following the Democrats by days instead of years, we’ll be ahead of the curve! 

The GOP version of the Duckworth-Hirono rule should be “We will not vote for racial minorities and we will not vote for LGBTQ, but we’ll consider voting for any white people President Biden might accidentally nominate.” It is unclear as to whether Jews were covered under the term “diversity” in the original Duckworth-Hirono rule, though Glenn Greenwald tried to find out. But, as Jews are about half Middle Eastern by genetics, we’ll go ahead and count them as diverse.

And if you look at that Biden cabinet, it looks like they could really use some of the whiteness that a GOP Duckworth-Hirono rule could bring. Just 25 percent (six of 24) of the people in President Biden’s cabinet-level positions are whites of Christian background—a number far out of sync with the approximately two-thirds of 2020 voters who were of white and of Christian background. And plus, let’s be honest, their cabinet positions: agriculture, labor, transportation, commerce energy, and veterans affairs, aren’t exactly the big dogs when it comes to power and influence. We don’t want equality. We need some white equity in the Biden cabinet—stat! 

And while we’re being honest, we should note that with 1.5 Asian Americans out of 24 cabinet-level staff, Asian Americans are overrepresented in the Biden cabinet as compared to their four percent share of the electorate. But good work by Duckworth and Hirono for telling Racist Joe that moderate overrepresentation just won’t do.

No, Asians need big time overrepresentation, like my fellow Jews have. Despite making up just two percent of the electorate, we’ve got six of 24 cabinet positions including three of the big four (Justice, Treasury, State)—plus White House chief of staff. I feel like a second-class citizen just thinking about it! 

But if they have to, I suppose Duckworth and Hirono could settle for the sad fate of African Americans, who make up only 23 percent of Biden cabinet members (with 13 percent of the electorate). Or maybe Native Americans (4 percent of the cabinet and 1.6 percent of the U.S. population). If they are really struggling, Asian Americans might do as badly in the Biden bean count as Latinos—they’re barely overrepresented at all—17 percent of cabinet level jobs with a whopping 13 percent of the electorate. Be better, Biden!

But looking more closely at Biden’s six white cabinet members of Christian background we see an even more urgent need for a GOP version of Duckworth-Hirono. For it turns out that all six (Raimondo, Granholm, Vilsack, Buttigieg, McDonough, and Walsh) are Catholics, like the president himself. (Well, technically, Buttigieg was born, baptized, raised and educated Catholic—he attends an Episcopal Church these days, since he said he felt unwelcome as a gay man in the Catholic Church. But that’s OK, Mayor Pete, you can give up the Catholic Church, but as an LGBT person you still qualify as diverse under the Duckworth-Hirono rule. So that seems like a good trade.)

For those of you who are math super-experts like me, that means none of Biden’s 24 cabinet-level appointees are white Americans of Protestant background, a group that makes up about 40 percent of the electorate, and of course, made up virtually all of our governmental leadership from the founding of the country until maybe 50 years ago.

When I first discovered this fact, I was sad one group seemed so unwelcome in Biden’s wonderful rainbow coalition. But then I understood Biden’s brilliance. We all know from our critical race theory corporate trainings, reading the New York Times’ prophetic “1619 Project,” and listening to all the professors at our top universities, that America is systemically racist, white supremacist, and oppressive and has been from the beginning. In fact, the country was founded just to perpetuate slavery!

No wonder we had to take down all of those statues of evil people Columbus, Jefferson, and Lincoln that had previously marred our cities. Given how evil and racist America has been, especially during the few hundred years that white Protestants were running the show, it’s a miracle that almost 100 million people of every racial, national, ethnic and religious background have tried to immigrate here. 

Maybe they were just eager to show us how much better America could be once white Protestants were excluded from governing the country they founded and built. In any case, while I totally understand President Biden’s reluctance to stain his administration with even a sliver of white Protestantism, our new focus on inclusivity, means we need to include all people, even if they come from groups that are a cancer on the body politic. 

That’s why we need the GOP to adopt their version of the Duckworth-Hirono rule immediately, so that the Biden Administration can appoint a senior liaison to whites, and especially white Protestants, who, despite being intrinsically evil by virtue of their skin color, are still our fellow Americans. 

In fact, I just can’t understand why the under-representation of white Christians, and the total absence white Protestants in the Biden Administration isn’t a huge story. The media loves covering stories of systemic exclusion and lack of representation.

It’s time for a GOP Duckworth-Hirono rule. We need to show President Biden that whites, and especially those racist and white supremacist white Protestants, should still be able to participate in the government (in an appropriately subservient role) in this wonderful tossed salad we call America.

About Jeremy Carl

Jeremy Carl is a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute. He served as deputy assistant secretary of the interior under President Trump and lives with his family in Montana.

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

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